abraham lincoln

Let's get the year off to a strong start. 

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." 

What does this have to do with sales effectiveness? 

It has the same relevance to effective lawyering. Just as you readily consult with other lawyers who specialize in areas outside your own, it's wise to consult with sales experts before engaging in sales activities. 

Coaching and tactical guidance are your axes in the sales game. 

Why, then, do some attorneys avoid consulting with sales coaches? Why do they refuse to sharpen their sales axe, even when the firm has already paid for the help? 

It's usually because they want to move as quickly as possible to the next (billable) task. Unfortunately, working with a dull axe usually takes longer and makes the task less effective and enjoyable. 

If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.
— Abraham Lincoln

What are the risks of not sharpening your sales axe with a coach? Use the Cost of Doing Nothing discipline to measure this downside. 

  • We may not produce the desired outcome. 
  • We may create unintentional--and avoidable--negative effects. 
  • We may take more time to get to the necessary level of clarity. 
  • We may over-invest in a weak opportunity or under-invest in a strong one. 
  • We may make things more difficult for both buyer and seller.

This all takes work...and runs counter to our "Just Do It" culture. Sharpening our selling skills axe isn't as much fun as whacking away at the sales opportunity tree. Contacting the coach takes time. Making it a habit requires conscious thought and commitment. 

Lincoln, however, was never one to avoid hard work. But he also knew that it's important to have tools that are up to the job so it wouldn't be unnecessarily hard. 

Call your coach to sharpen your axe.

Mike O'Horo


RainmakerVT’s online courses will teach you proven BD skills in an engaging, entertaining way as you manage an avatar through simulated networking events, sales calls, and other BD challenges. You’ll learn by doing, choosing what to say and do through a series of decision points, and you’ll get instant video coaching about each choice you make.

See what lawyers like you say about RainmakerVT.

Would you be more comfortable under the hands-on guidance of a coach who’s helped thousands of lawyers generate $1.5 billion (yes, that’s a “b”) in new business? Take a look at how our coaching relationship would work.

Questions? Schedule a free call with me.